Crisp snow outside, a roaring fire, the soft glow of candlelight and a Christmas table heaped with food is perhaps what springs to mind when we conjure pictures of the perfect setting for a family Christmas dinner. Twinkling Christmas lights on the tree and holly wreaths on the door set the scene, but how do you make your table look extra special without overloading on the sparkle?
The answer is to use natural materials that bring softness, scents and sophistication to your table.
Dried orange segments
Used as a tasty garnish for a festive gin and tonic, dried orange segments capture the essence of Christmas flavour. They also make lovely decorations, whether they’re scattered on the table, threaded onto thin ribbon and used to tie napkins or used as a decoration around the base of a glass. Slice fresh oranges or clementines, place in a single layer on a wire rack sitting on a baking tray and pop into an oven at 170 degrees Celsius. Turn the slices every hour, and you’ll have gorgeously bronzed and intensified segments after five or six hours.
Mini Christmas spice bouquets
Take a cinnamon stick, a bay leaf, a pinecone, a spray of eucalyptus and a holly sprig. Add in a single flower that matches your table setting – perhaps a gerbera or a winter rose – and hand tie everything together with pretty ribbon. Place a mini bouquet in the centre of each place setting for a delightfully natural and aromatic touch to your table.
Use simple white candles, holly and other green foliage to dress the centre of the table, and you’re guaranteed to wow your guests this Christmas.